“It is a beautiful thing you are doing for those kids.”
“What beautiful children you have; I love their curly brown locks.”
“What a beautiful person you are to do what you do. I could never do it.”
“What a beautiful family you all are!”
“You have such a beautiful way with these kids.”
“What a beautiful blessing for him to have you for his foster mom.”
The word “beauty” is thrown out a lot when people talk to me about being a foster family.
But the true beauty is that you don’t actually have to BE a foster parent to make a difference in the lives of children in foster care. Your beauty can resonate and touch their lives in ways that may impact them without you even knowing it.
Beautiful is the businesswoman (quite obviously in a rush) shopping during her lunch hour who let us go ahead of her when she recognized that my 2-year-old could no longer wait and was on the brink of a major meltdown.
Beautiful is the woman who runs a food pantry at a local church and posts the online availability of baby food to foster families in the area.
Beautiful is Robyn’s Nest, where no child will have basic clothing needs unmet thanks to the kindness and generosity of donors who continue to help keep the shelves stocked.
Beautiful are the high school football fans in the stands who periodically break from their cheers to wave and say “hi” to your little girl who is constantly addressing them with her newfound hellos after they discover she’s finally mastered it after two months of trying.
Beautiful is the young adult who invited our family to a church service one Sunday morning that led us to end the long search to find our new home church since moving to a new community. Now our entire family will be able to return to worshiping with fellowship.
Beautiful are my neighbors who give the kids rides on their wheelchairs and popsicles if they receive reports that they have eaten all of their dinner (the cheerleaders, the supporters, the listening ears, the shoulders to cry on).
Beautiful is my 14-year-old biological son who has a way of comforting the newborn placements like no one else in the house.
Beautiful is my 15-year-old biological daughter who struggled to secure her own self-esteem, but with the arrival of foster children has not only learned to value herself but to teach them to value themselves and others as well.
Beautiful is my 17-year-old biological son coming home at 11 p.m. from a long day of school and football only to head straight to the crib to check on the baby. He’s also able to get an extremely antsy 2-year-old to sit still on the couch long enough to listen to him read books.
Beautiful is my 20-year-old biological daughter who drops what she is doing and comes from Sheboygan after just one phone call from me to make bubbles, play dinosaurs/monster trucks, and have a picnic lunch on the living room floor with a kiddo who is so traumatized he’s unable to sleep day or night. The break allows me to catch up on some much needed rest after minimal sleep for almost two weeks straight.
Beautiful is my 25-year-old biological son who tells me to cancel respite care for the baby on the day of his college graduation because he wants everyone there and HE is a part of this family, too.
Beautiful are the big brown eyes of my baby J with eyelashes that curl back to touch his lids.
Beautiful is his soul that I can instantly connect with through those very same eyes.
Beautiful is the future he will have, being given the right supports at the right time and in the right amounts with this carefully placed start in foster care. He is being nurtured and provided opportunities for learning, experiences for growing, socialization, connections, a sense of community and unconditional love. This is simply, truly, amazingly BEAUTIFUL!
~ Genell Baun, licensed foster parent